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My Union vs. The 2nd Amendment

Discussion in 'Activism Discussion and Planning' started by D.B. Cooper, May 11, 2018.

  1. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I've noticed a disturbing trend in the past few weeks with regards to positions my union is taking since Parkland. About a month ago, they sent out an email stating that they support a list of things to improve school safety, but that last line stated: "...Strengthening restrictions and regulations in regards to the sale and possession of automatic and semiautomatic assault or military grade weapons, and high capacity magazines..." and "...strongly opposes efforts to arm public school educators..." (This email came out the very same day that my school district flatly rejected, with no public comment and almost no discussion, the idea of allowing teachers to arm themselves.) The national arm of the union published a bunch of photos from the March For Our Lives in D.C. It was only photos, but I'm sure this is only the beginning. Plus, I'm not sure how lock-step my state union is with the national franchise.

    I'm not sure what to do with this and/or what to do about this, if anything. I'm not concerned about the district policy. They have the right to set policy. I have the right to disagree, but I'm bound to abide. I'm much more concerned about the first line from the union email. I think this means they may start using union funds (i.e. money I pay) to directly support anti-gun initiatives, either in my state or at the national level, or both. I understand that unions, especially public employee unions, are going to financially support Democratic candidates and that a side effect of that support could be an anit-gun vote in the legislature, however, I'm unaware of a union getting directly involved in the 2nd Amendment.

    What I do know is that I don't want my own money being used against me. In my case, union membership is mandatory for employment, but I do have the right to request, in writing, that I only be billed for the cost of direct representation. If I did that, it would cut my union dues roughly in half. (That money could then go the NRA.) If I did that, it would likely cut me off from the union. If I ever needed representation (which is extremely likely), I would likely get only a half-hearted defense at best. In addition, we will also likely be going on strike sometime in the next year. My union dues are about 2.5% of my annual salary, so we're not talking a lot of money here. It's primarily a point of principle.

    Thanks for reading my essay. I apologize for the length of the post. I look forward to reading your thoughts on what direction I might go. If you have a union perspective, all the better.
     
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  2. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    That trend in unions has been going on for decades
     
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  4. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    I suspect that we belong to the same union.I am also bothered by this lobbying effort.
     
  5. entropy

    entropy Member

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    While you cannot control what they do with your dues, conversely, they cannot control who you vote for, despite their wish to. I've had a couple union jobs in the past, and didn't like their attempts at bullying their members into voting a certain way. Ultimately, you have to decide whether changing careers is worth it.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Agree w Fine.
    Labor unions are historically socialist democrat which means they toe the left liberal party line. In spite of many personally conservative members who then feel compelled if not pressured to vote right... or Left.
     
  7. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    If you opt out of the Union, they are still obligated to represent you. And if they don’t they leave themselves open to a Duty to Fairly Represent lawsuit that will cost them big time.
     
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  8. Cump

    Cump Member

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    Luckily, I live in a right to work state, so I haven't, and won't, join my teachers union.
     
  9. ih772

    ih772 Member

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    I left the union for the very reasons the op is talking about. Every time a piece of anti-hunting or anti-2A legislation is put forth, the people pushing it the hardest are democratic politicians. My union spends millions of dollars a year supporting those same politicians. I'll be damned if my own money is going to be used against me.
     
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  10. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    I totally agree. I saw it was I in the I.A.M. in the late 90s and again in the mid 2000s.

    However, this feels different to me. I'm used to the usual encouragement to vote for Democrats because, according to the union, those politicians will advocate for the working stiff. This is the first time I've seen a union specifically state a position on an a specific issue that is not related to labor issues. It feels more like the Dick's Sports decision to actively advocate against the 2nd Amendment. As in, my union is going to lobby legislators not for more school funding, but for a an increase in restrictive gun laws.
     
  11. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    It's certainly not worth it. That's a no brainer. But I'd like to do whatever I can to not contribute to their plan.
     
  12. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    Just got the letter in the mail from my union for the "approved" candidates in the upcoming primaries. Not sure changing lanes in my career is worth it but I did promptly start a nice campfire in the back yard with that piece of paper. It is the little things I can do to feel like I'm giving them the finger without risking my livelihood.
     
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  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    That's pretty much where I'm at and why I started this thread. Is it worth it to make a scene and defund them as much as I can? Or should I ust let this go like everything else.
     
  14. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    So do I - at least in the ways it has been proposed to date.

    As far as I am concerned, any initiative that hands a gun to a teacher simply by virtue of them having met the requirements for a concealed handgun license, but without:
    1. Additional requirements training specific to the environment in which they might be called to use the gun,
    2. Without any requirement for periodic refresher training specific to the environment in which they might be called to use the gun, and
    3. Without mandatory, paid range time to maintain proficiency,
    would in my opinion be no better and perhaps worse outcomes than not arming teachers at all.

    To the extent that the "answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun", it seems axiomatic that the answer is not an untrained, unprepared, unskilled person - no matter how well intentioned they might be - with a gun.
     
  15. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Nothing new, I would in fact say that for the majority of people I hear talk most vote in accordance with pocketbook more than other ideology between the parties. I would venture 70% of California being unable to afford a home according to research in the last few years in California has as much to do with it being Democrat as the actual left lean of places like SF.

    It is easy for someone to be conservative and live where money goes further. In places where the cost of living is huge and people barely get by the party promising help gets more votes. Of course they are only helping with money someone else generated because the government sure does not create wealth or financially positive employment.

    As people get poorer, the wealth concentrates in a smaller percent of the population, and we become more urbanized, as well as the primary growth of our population being in immigration and from citizens born of immigrant minorities, our nation is only going to become more left leaning.
    Lets take a quick immigration study, we can pick anti immigration or pro immigration places lets take one that supports them https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigrants-in-california
    In California:
    More than a quarter of California residents are immigrants, while nearly one in four residents is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.

    • In 2015, 10.7 million immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 27.3 percent of the population.
    • California was home to 5.3 million women, 4.9 million men, and 449,878 children who were immigrants.
    • The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (40 percent of immigrants), the Philippines (8 percent), China (5.9 percent), Vietnam (4.8 percent), and India (4.5 percent).
    • In 2016, 9.3 million people in California (23.8 percent of the state’s population) were native-born Americans who had at least one immigrant parent.

    So if 23.8 % have an immigrant parent, and 27.3 are immigrants, we are talking over 50% of the people living in the state are immigrants or children of immigrants. Want to guess what party they vote for? That means it doesn't even matter what people living in the state awhile want, they can be outvoted by new arrivals and their children. Part of why we are a sanctuary state. It is kind of like an invasion, and once you let enough in and then let them vote they vote to let more in.


    That is why tying gun rights to one party means they won't be around very long. If the democrats cannot be made to support gun rights and not try to trick people into nonstop gradual 'compromise' the future of that right is in jeopardy.
    They never will stop at any type of gun, we see it in the commonwealth nations, we see it in our own past. They have wanted to ban handguns for a century now too, and just have that goal sidelined until after they ban 'assault' weapons. After all most actual crime and murder uses a handgun.
    Voting Republican won't keep gun rights for long, the pendulum is swinging. and they may have the presidency and some or all of congress soon, and will likely win more and more as time goes on with the pendulum swinging back to the Republicans less and less often as the demographics and our nation changes.
    Turning the Democrat party pro-gun is the only way to keep the rights long term.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  16. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    The easy answer is not so easy a lot of times.

    You need to organize like minded people to speak out against he union.

    Do members vote for the union bosses?
     
  17. Cump

    Cump Member

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    Whether its worth it or not probably depends more on your administrator. Are you solid with him or her? That's where your job security is.

    Also, I've been told by a leader in the union here that your union can choose not to represent you. Would they be there if you needed them anyway?
     
  18. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    We vote for the local representatives. These local representatives are not, "union bosses." They are people doing the same job we are. The union rep positions are volunteer positions.

    A few things that we can do is to put our own names on the ballot to go to the state conferences and speak there. I have not done that, I am waiting until I am tenured to get active in the union. Another thing is to speak to the representatives, in my case there are three in my building, and let the know how bothersome this position is. Of course, the final, and in many ways the easiest, is to send letters to the state, and national level, representatives; again, explaining how bothersome this position is.

    A couple of things that relate to contracted employment for teachers; because a lot of people don't understand teachers contracts at all:

    As a comment, I mentioned, "Tenure." That word no longer exists in our contracts. What has replaced it is, "due process." It is the same in how it is used; however, due process makes it clear that with both cause (a reason) and process (allowing the employee to correct the issue) the teachers can be terminated.

    Once a person has "due process" they can assume that their contract has been renewed unless they are informed otherwise. Until then, it is a five year process, there is no reason to state the reason, or provide remedy, to a teacher whose contract is not renewed or is removed.

    There is also responsibility from the teacher. Once the summer starts, and the teacher has not told the district otherwise, there is a legal assumption that the teacher is returning. A warrant can be taken out on a run-away-teacher I am familiar with a case of it having happened. That being said, the first place I ever heard of this was when I was in KSA, I did not expect such a thing in the US.

    If the summer has started, and it is still before the last day in June, a teacher can buy out of their contract for $2,750. If it is after the last day in June, the penalty rises to $5,500 (be aware, these numbers are for this year, they change on annual contract re-negotiation). This has two effects, it reduces no-shows. It also locks teachers in before the panic-hiring starts, keeping teachers from trying to bid their services to the highest paying district.

    Again, I realize this is not particularly pertinent the theme of this thread, I am just trying to build some context in regard to the environment where this particular union exists.
     
  19. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    So....

    I spoke to the president of the union today, after our last meeting of the school year, and made it clear that I, and a few others were watching. He assured me that there were no plans, at least at the local and state level (he sits on the state board as well as president of the local) to actively lobby for gun control. Their "position statement" is just that; so that if anyone asks what does the teacher's union (and by extension, teachers) support, they can refer to the position statement. (Which states no armed teachers and stricter gun control.) He did add, however, that he expects the national organization to actively lobby for gun control laws on behalf of member-teachers. About 10% of my dues go to the national organization. I guess it's time to start writing every congress-critter and letting them know that my union does't speak for me.

    I added that if I have to die for his political cause, I've already instructed my ex-wife to sue the union and the district on behalf of our son, for wrongful death and failing to provide a safe work environment. I'm starting to believe that only massive cash payments to victims' families, as a result of lawsuits, is the only way to get these people on board.

    Interestingly enough, he acknowledged that if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Janus, essentially making the entire nation a right to work state, he expects our union to lose about 100 members over this issue. I'm not sure I won't be one of them. Enrollment and resignations have t happen between the 1st day of school and Sept 15.
     
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  20. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    Good for you. Nice to see a guy take a stand. From one "brother" to another I hope you get the chance leave if you want to. Hope no backlash goes your way.
     
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  21. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    In the state I work in membership is optional. However, the union still has to represent everyone, member or not. I remain a member and locally there is no anti-gun owner rights activity.

    This is probably a good Idea. I will do the same.

    This is also an area where I am in agreement. As I have commented before, by going all in for one party we have lost any leverage we have (here we means the gun owners rights community). The one party (D) sees us as unreachable, as such they have no reason to work with us. The other party (R) sees us as locked in with nowhere to go; as such, they have no reason to assist us.

    As a block we need to put ourselves back in the game instead of being safely on one side.
     
  22. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    I agree. Some of the core components of the Democratic coalition, such as union members, immigrants, and racial minorities, are not by nature antigun. If anything, it's the opposite. They don't even care about the other signature Democratic social issues, such as gay rights, right to abortion, etc. These groups are drawn to the Democrats mainly by economic issues. The Democratic social agenda (including guns) is being driven by coastal elites, media mavens, academia, suburbanites, and other "opinion leaders." The rank and file Democratic voters are being held hostage to this "political correctness" on social issues. The basic problem is the all-encompassing polarization that has taken hold in this country. You join a "tribe" and then have to accept the complete agenda of that "tribe." If we want to preserve gun rights we have to find some way to break this polarization. Perhaps "gun people" should vote more often in Democratic primaries? The few pro-gun Democratic office holders should be rewarded by our support. And the NRA should stop being an arm of the Republican party.
     
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  23. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    Correct, I was a Republican for many years Here is a bit of a profile I wrote on The Liberal gun Club:
    As you can see, the Democratic Parties social agenda is far from my political shift. For me it is the economic platform that compels. The Republican party is obsessed with the Fresh Water school of economics. However, even there the position they take is not pure Keynes or Hayek. It is a mix of the two and a poor mix at that. Note, I am not saying that the Fresh Water school is entirely wrong, there are far too many smart people there for that to be true. However, the freshwater School lends itself to allowing for more unworkable distortions that create an economy that does not best serve the majority of the people.

    As so many have said in this thread, we need to move beyond pure party politics. As was stated, the NRA needs to reposition itself to both put itself back on the board and to remain viable in the future. We need to be speaking at the Democratic Party caucus meetings. Getting on the agenda is generally as simple as asking to be on the agenda. In that I was a bit remiss this year because I am away from my home district for work.

    I also expect Unions to reshape and remarket themselves as the coming generations are less and less able to live on the wealth this country generated in the 50's and 60's. However, that repackaging themselves need to divest itself of the parts of the package that are not, directly, labour issues. That includes misguided flirtations with the anti-gun owners rights movement.
     
  24. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    IMO, the current doubling down by the Democrats against guns is due to a fundamental misreading of the grass roots by their political consultants and partisan pollsters. In any case, the result of the November midterm election is going to be an eye-opener on the gun issue, one way or the other.

    The Democrats were cruising to a wave victory, based on disillusionment with Trump. Then came the Parkland shooting, and the Democratic consultancy decided that a crusade against guns would be a good way to get Millennials to turn out. (And now, the Democrats' lead is shrinking.) If the consultants' theory is correct, and the Democrats sweep the House by getting Millennials to turn out and vote against guns, that will be a very bad sign for us going forward. I personally don't think that the antigun strategy is going to work for them. Whether that lesson will sink in is an open question.
     
  25. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    A little surprised only one poster so far has mentioned the Janus case. One suspects that if the outcome is favorable (overturning Abood v. Detroit Board of Education), unions such as mine (currently a closed shop representing government employees) will actually have to work more on representing their membership in workplace related issues rather than their current focus on national political issues.

    I'm sick of my union touting only Democrat party candidates, no matter the election, when the reality is that what results from these unions’ advocacy is more government spending, higher taxes and continued regulations – along with increasingly stupid and unqualified public office-holders, lasting damage to our economy and to the average citizen's quality of life.
     
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